Rollin’ for tomorrow: Roller Derby Beirut

Beirut’s roller derby team Photography © Tamara Abdul Hadi

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In September, I spent a couple of weeks in Beirut, where I skated, drank juice and chatted with the incredible members of the city’s newly formed roller derby team, made up of AUB students from across the Arab world (Yemen, Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Dubai) studying on a prestigious ‘ Tomorrow’s Leaders’ scholarship paid for by the US State Department. Setting up a full-contact, all-female sports league was just a tiny part of the pioneering work these women in their late teens and early twenties were doing, and we spent hours on Skype when I was back in London discussing everything from pressure they felt as teenagers to give up physical activities to Saudi Arabia’s brutal bombing and blockade of Yemen. The piece is in this month’s excellent edition of Huck magazine, which is dedicated to defiance.

 

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